Monday, December 29, 2008

Looking Forward

my mission

as an artist

hovers like a ghostly grail

a scant few inches over my head

keep the channel open

allow it all to come in

let the hard, jagged edges be seen

let the soft, dreamy centers be felt

keep the channel open

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Something for Everyone

And for you Holiday Cynics out there, here's a classic from Tom Lehrer, one of the funniest songwriters this country has ever produced. I can't figure out on to post a video from You Tube on the blog, so just click HERE

Happy Happy Merry Merry

Finally am ready for the holidays! Here's our tree for this year in the front window of our dining room, which looks out onto the street and the neighbor's house which is much better lit than ours.
The Sweet Hubby got clobbered with work this week, which is unusual at this time of year when everything is generally slow. But he is a freelancer - which means for those of you who are wage slaves and are considering working for yourself - that you can work anytime you want, including holidays and weekends because you don't know when the next job will be coming down the pike.
In a related holiday development, was going through some old photos looking for some of my mom (who passed away four years ago) that I could scan and print to use in photo Christmas tree ornaments, when I came across this one of moi at the age of two on Christmas Eve in whatever town we were living in at the time.
Some things never change, like the big open mouth in the photo! Yep, still got that and the love of home-baked cookies.
I don't wear fussy little dresses with Peter Pan collars and aprons attached anymore. And the chestnut brown and red hair has turned to gray and white, but I'm probably just as goofy. Happiest of Holidays to all and a wish for peace and joy in the coming year.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Egg and Ann

OK, don't know if I've made this clear or not, but I'm pretty useless in the mornings. I've always been a night owl since I was a teenager, except for those 10 years working as a radio journalist when I always got to do the early morning shows. Good thing it wasn't TV. I can certainly sound awake, but ask any of the DJs I worked with, I did not look like any kind of awake humanoid at all.
  • But I digress... This morning the Sweet Hubby got up way too early and made himself some pancakes for breakfast. When he does that he always makes an extra one for his charming wife when she gets up. So I'm making my tea, looking at the pancake and I decide that a lovely soft-boiled egg would be just the ticket. Did I mention that it's hard for me to engage my brain in the morning?
So, I'm looking at the clock and thinking I don't have time to boil the water for that egg, so I'll... hold your breath here ..... microwave it in a cup of water! I go out to the dining room to look at the paper when the Sweet Hubby goes out the door to haul in the trash and recycling cans from the street, walks in the door and turns to go into the kitchen, when..........
  • I hear this loud noise and then him yelling. I rush in to find what most 5th graders would know would happen.... yes ..... the egg exploded in the microwave, blowing open the microwave door and scattering little cooked (it was far too hard boiled for me now) bits of egg and shell ALL OVER THE STOVE and floor. The floor I didn't have to worry about because Crash the dog smelled the egg and was in there already licking the floor before I got in there. We should have named him Hoover (cue British laugh track).
Then it occurred to me, it could have exploded just as the Sweet Hubby was walking by the microwave! OMG, I could have killed him or at least injured him because he's tall and the door when it swung open could have smacked him in the head. We laughed over it and he helped me clean up and I wondered how much life insurance I had on him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Tis the Season

Just recently I stumbled upon a great blog/website called I Kicked Cancer's @ss. The gal who writes the blog, Meaghan, is also a cancer survivor and she came up with this great idea to hook up creative types with people going through cancer treatments. The creative types send the cancer warriors a piece of art work (like I'm doing) or a card or a small handmade gift of some sort. So I'm sending my person a print of Hope, pictured above. Know some creative types (or are one yourself) who might like to participate? Tell 'em Ann sent you. I think this is a perfect thing for this time of year when so many folks are having a hard time making ends meet. 'Tis better to give than receive!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Making Movies

I think I've just about recovered from my recent film shoot - Bitter/Sweet a new comedy written and directed by David Ligon, a Sacramento filmmaker and board member of the Capital Film Arts Alliance This is a short film (30 minutes) about middle-aged women and the differences between women and men. It's a very funny script and I hope that it gets into film festivals across the US and the rest of the world! I played the role of Patsy, a middle-aged widow who played the heavy, for lack of a better term and I probably do outweigh the rest of the cast! While we had two days of 12-hour shooting, I could not have asked for a more talented group of women in the cast - good work David for being able to gather such a wonderful group of ladies.
Here we are in a shot of one of the scenes in the film, from left to right: Mary Beth Barber, Sheila Ellis, Morgan, moi, Kat Monda and Ruby Sketchley. Not pictured is Aliciya, who plays Heather. We've still got two more scenes to shoot and I don't have any photos of the shoots with the guys, but yes, there are some wonderful male actors in this film too. Keep your fingers crossed that it comes to a film festival near you in 2009.
Now back to work on the giant lightbox new motel piece I'm doing for the Postcards from Nada Motel in January at the Barrick Museum in Las Vegas. If you're in that part of the world on Jan 23rd, come on down for the artists' reception. I'll be showing my digital art along with some very fine Nevada artists.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What NOT to Get Your Special Someone

Ah... the holidaze, you can smell the questions in the air! What shall I get my significant other? If you're a woman you're probably taking care of most of the holiday details vis-a-vis decorating, food, parties etc. If you're a guy, your only task is to do the outdoor lights most likely and to buy a present for your significant other. So don't blow it this year and end up like this. Special thanks to my friend over at the Midlife Musings blog for finding this very funny lesson for guys.
I use the word Holiday so it will include Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza and other winter holidays celebrations that are mostly based on the old Pagan/Earth Gods religions. Many of our current traditions are rooted in the old ways. There's an interesting blog on religious tolerance that lists many different religious holidays based on the solestice. In it they say that : "Any record of the date of birth of Yeshua of Nazareth (later known as Jesus Christ) has been lost. There is sufficient evidence in the Gospels to indicate that Yeshua was born in the fall, but this seems to have been unknown to early Christians. By the beginning of the 4th century CE, there was intense interest in choosing a day to celebrate Yeshua's birthday. The western church leaders selected DEC-25 because this was already the date recognized throughout the Roman Empire as the birthday of various Pagan gods. Since there was no central Christian authority at the time, it took centuries before the tradition was universally accepted."
  • I just finished ordering my Unicef Holiday cards. I urge you to go to the Unicef Shop and order cards from them, as the proceeds go to programs that help kids all over the world, not matter what holiday they enjoy in the winter!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Aids Day

Yesterday before I had to be on set to shoot a scene from a short film I'm acting in, I was thinking about what I should write about on Aids Day - that hasn't been written before. At first I thought that I would encourage all my readers to either donate money to their local Aids charity - here in Sacramento, it's called CARES - or donate their time if they don't have the dough. I'm still going to do that as soon as I finish this post and I hope that you will donate either time or money to the many Aids groups across the world.
  • But then I read MeMe King's blog about her neighbor having Aids and realized I needed to make it personsal. Because this is a disease, like Breast Cancer, that proabably everyone knows someone who has been touched by it.
So I decided to tell the tale of my first husband Patrick who died of Aids about 15 years ago. My brother introduced me to him and he was a friend and part of our dance company founded by Robin Cole called the Encounter Dancers - hey waddya want, it was was 70s. We fell in love and got married in the same church where we performed many dance concerts - The Unitarian Church in downtown Colorado Springs. That's us in the photo above in a dance we called "Rutabaga Nightmare". Many thanks to my great friend Riki who had that photo for years and shared it with me when we got back in touch. She was also part of that dance company. We were only married for a short while, less than a year. I think when we both realized that we wanted more from life than we could give each other.
  • We stayed friends and in touch for many years. When I was living in sin with my now legally wedded spousal unit, Pat would even come over for dinner sometimes. But the years went on and we lost contact with each other.
It was a very sad day when my mom, who was still living in Colorado Springs, called me and told me she had seen the obituary. He was a talented, bright and funny guy who I wished had used condoms.

And the winner is....

Yes, a drumroll please....... We've got Seven Winners.... all you who picked Design #1. Now, I'll need you to email me your mailing addresses and I have better get busy printing. If you have high speed internet service and can handle a 3 mb file, let me know and I'll just email a print to you. Thanks for participating... we'll have to do this again
The Winners are: Anon, Mike, MeMe King, Sue O'Kieffe, my dear artist friend and one of the founders of the international Webist group - Ingrid, Diego and Joelyn!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Art for Music

I've always thought that it would be great fun to design CD covers for bands. But did I ever work toward that? No, it was just an idle thought made without seeing myself actually doing it. Which is funny in a way for an idiot savant graphic designer, but I never thought about it until last week when a very dear friend whose husband is in a blues band based in Red Bluff, Downtown and the Feelers, asked me to help them with the design for a new CD they were going to have done by Christmas.
The name of their new album is Strange Things Happen. This thrilled me no end as most of my art could be described that way! So after getting some input from them, I came up with about 4 different designs for them. So which design do you think they liked the best? If there is anyone out there that reads this (yes, I'm talking to both of you) and either emails me which one or puts it in the comments, I'll send you a small print of the image - without the name of the CD on it of course! Happy Guessing!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Have Some Cheap Fun

One thing you can doTONIGHT that WON'T cost you an arm and a leg is to come see the Experiments in Performance & Music at Asylum Gallery (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Streets in midtown) at 7 pm.
I've written a performance text which you can read here and will be performing with an old friend, Tim Dougherty and the star of our show: Mike Crain, a phenom of a composer, percussionist and digital musician. We're accepting donations for the event which will also include some tasty beverages and a talk back with the artists. It should be fun and funny and hope to see you there!
It will be like a Brooklyn type art performance event, right here in River City!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Art & The Economy

Looks like folks are starting to tighten their belts a bit. This thought was born after being at the St. Mary's Fine Art & Craft sale on Saturday. My friend Cherie and I shared a booth and at first I thought the slow sales were due to our work not being representative enough for the folks that were there to raise money for the school's programs. People did attend, but were not parting with their cash...sigh.
So I went around to some of the other artists who were offering more "normal" wares and found that their sales were down by 60% over the previous year. It's really too bad that folks didn't support their local artists. Better to spend money that will stay in our community than to spend it with corporate giants like... well you know.... I hate even naming them.
One thing you can do this weekend that WON'T cost you an arm and a leg is to come see the Experiments in Performance & Music this Friday at Asylum Gallery (behind the gray fence at 25th & R Streets in midtown) at 7 pm. I've written a performance text which you can read here and will be performing with an old friend, Tim Dougherty and the star of our show: Mike Crain, a phenom of a composer, percussionist and digital musician. We're accepting donations for the event which will also include some tasty beverages and a talk back with the artists. It should be fun and funny and hope to see you there!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Come See Me and Cherie Hacker this Saturday

Cherie Hacker and I will be showing and selling work at the St, Mary's Fine Arts & Craft Show, Saturday November 15th from 10 am to 4 pm. Not only will you see our work, but the work of many other fine artists and crafts people PLUS live entertainment and a kids' craft area and an art raffle.
It's all happening at the Giovanni Hall, 58th & M Streets in East Sacramento. Admission is $3 advance (call 452-1100 or email smartisanfair@yahoo.com), $5 at the door and free for kids under 12 years old.
All proceeds will benefit the children and programs of St. Mary's School. Both Cherie and I will donate work for the art raffle. We'd love to see you there.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Photogenics Show in Woodland

Thanks to everyone who came out to my one-night only art show for First Friday in Woodland at George Streng's Photogenics studio in historic downtown Woodland last night. Special thanks go to George for inviting me to show my work there, Dan Garlock for helping me to hang it on Thursday and to the Daily Democrat newspaper for publishing a great article (click on word article) about the show! Both Cynthia Burdick (Ms. Cynstone) and I had a great time and are eager to go back sometime next year if George has a spot for us.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

After Tuesday's election I do think that we have a much better chance at peace in the world now. I wasn't going to get political at all during the election season as most folks are up to their eyeballs in political fu... (fu means stuff and I stole the usage from Joe Bob, the guy who used to 'review' b-flicks in his own politically incorrect way). But I couldn't help myself on Monday when I had to post Obama's photo.
But I should be blogging for peace, although it is tied to politics . Here's a book to put on your reading list about how we can see peace in our lifetimes: Women, Power and the Biology of Peace by Judith Hand.
In nutshell she proposes that women rule the world because of certain biological and gender based reasons that you'll have to read the book to find out because I don't want to misquote her and it's been some time since I've read the book myself. (I think that has to be my best run-on sentence of all time.)
if you think this is crazy, then think again about little boys playing with soldiers and turning anything and everything into guns to kill people. Then do some research on violent crimes and you will find that probably 90% of them are committed by men.
Or I should say men who have not reconciled with their feminine sides. Those men who are not overshadowed by ego and who realize that we all have male and female sides to us, those men are fine. It's the ones who are afraid of that female side and afraid of women in general who use violence for power and control, those are the guys who need help. Or we set up a special penal colony on the Moon. That would help the economy!

Monday, November 3, 2008

D-Day Tomorrow

For all of you who have not cast absentee ballots like I did, (smug smart ass that I am)and if you confused about the boatload of propositions on the ballot, check out the League of Women Voters. The are issue based and non partisan. Just make sure you get out there and vote.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday

To Me Brudder.... the one, the only, Atomic Elroy! Hope you're having a great day and liked the card I sent...

Friday, October 31, 2008

My Favorite Holiday

Yup, it's today! Halloween. Numerous reasons for this including wearing goofy clothes and wigs without people looking too askance at you.
You don't have to buy anyone anything, unless of course you have a close friend or relative who's birthday is today. So that makes it probably the least commercial holiday of the year.
Except for the fact that you have to buy candy to give to the trick n'treaters. But there's no law that says it can't be chocolate and that you can't have some too! Maybe I do have a sadistic streak in me as I love to dress up and use my "witch" voice when the children come to the door to see if I can scare them!
Special thanks to my good friend Diego for posing for this photo that was shot out in the Dixon Corn Maze. It was great fun.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

PSSSSSTTTTT

You're looking for secrets aren't you? Trying going here: Secret? OK... I was trying to get you there without being so blatant about it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

busy as a Bee

Check out the story that was in today's Sacramento Bee Ann's way to break through creative blocks
I know I shouldn't be a whiner, but I wasn't all that crazy about how the article was edited. And it is good to do things with your non-dominant hand! Go on, brush your teeth with the other hand. go ahead and just throw (see photo) to the winds!
Speaking of creativity, one of the most creative of singers and performance artists - Laurie Anderson was at Mondavi Center in Davis with her new "Homeland" show. It was funny, profound, political and without caution. here's a link to a little interview she did on Swedish TV One of her best lines was: "Your silence is your consent."
and it sparked some other creative thoughts for the performance piece I'm writing to be performed at Asylum Gallery with the wonderful digital music composer and performer Mike Crain. We're doing an "Experiment in Performance" at Asylum on Friday, Nov 21st. Save that date, we'll be looking for you. Here's a link to Mike's website

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Take a Drive out to Woodland on November 7th

Why? Because it's First Friday and I'll be the featured artist at Photogenics, 415 First St., Woodland from 6 to 9 pm. The exhibit will feature work from the new Motel Variations series as well as the Power: Grids and Shapes series. Also on hand will be Cynthia Burdick with her line of hand-crafted jewelry she calls CynStones.
I was just in Woodland last week checking out the space, which is owned by photographer George Streng, who I met at Nada Motel up in Reno last June. He's very interested in sharing his fabulous studio/office space with other photographic artists. George is a wonderful photographer himself and a very generous guy to boot.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for January 23rd in Las Vegas for the Artists' Reception for "Greetings From Nada Motel" Barrick Museum, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154 (702) 895-3381 Jan. 23rd thru March 20th 2009
I'll be showing some new Motel Variations" Reno work and you'll see work by these other wonderful Reno artists: Trelaine Lewis, Kai Prescher, Ned Peterson, Dianna Sion Callender, Stephanie Hogen, Dusty Hartman, Dean Burton, Franz Szony, John Molezzo, SK James, Dave Cherry, Craig Smyres, Elaine Jason, Elaine Parks, Jeff Johnson, Andy Munz, Jerry Tarner, Thomas Willis, Leah Craig, and Chad Sorg.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lives of Women Artists

For anyone who is female and makes art, we know how tough it is, no matter what our family situation or the art at which we got serious about making art. Someone has now made a documentary about it. The NY Times article is here: http://tiny.cc/1Aq23
The painting to the left was one that my mother had since I was a little girl in the 1st grade. We lived in Cape Neddick, Maine at that time and maybe that was critical to me becoming the artist I am today. The painter was a woman named Sandy Lyndahl (I think that's how you spell it) and was one of the things I HAD to have when my mother passed away four years ago. I love it because it's so 50s and it's beautifully done.
I wonder what life was like for her? For myself it's a different story since I only became serious about my visual art-making for the past 6 years or so. Before that I was (and still am) a theatre artist doing just about everything except for set and lighting design.
This is the first time in my life that I've been making art and didn't have to have a day job - I have the time to get serious now. But in a way, I've been lucky in coming to visual art later in life. My financial situation is stable and my Sweet Hubby is a big fan and supporter. I've lived through many crazy emotional situations which have fueled certain pieces. And finally I've matured enough to not go off half-cocked on some things... most of the time.
But of course there is something that I share with all women artists no matter how and when we came to it - we all feel the slings and arrows from not being accepted in the "bigger" art world. We're still all marginalized in one way or another. Thank god for the Guerilla Girls. Check them out here: http://www.guerrillagirls.com/

Friday, October 17, 2008

Why BIG is BAD

It's probably not news to you that we live in an exceedingly small corporate world, inasmuch as who owns what. There are only a couple of Huge Corporations that seem to own, well, everything - like AT&T. I'm thinking about getting one of those new I-phones now that the price is 50% off the original price - I like bargains. But I'm beginning to re-think this because of stupidity on the part of AT&T.
Went to their website to look at my wireless phone bill the other day and saw this message:

We have recently enhanced our site security with new secret questions. To make your account more secure please click here.

So I did and found that they were "upgrading" security by asking you to choose from the following questions: What is your favorite film? .......... um... don't really have one - there are many films I like
What is your favorite hobby? .... um.... don't have a hobby because I'm a freelancer and an artist and I'm always working on art projects.
Last name of your favorite elementary school teacher? ..... WTF! .... elementary school teacher? I don't remember any teachers from that long ago. It's been too many years. I mean really once you reach the age of 40+ do you really remember your elementary school teachers?
What is the name of your favorite childhood pet? ... come on.... we had lots of them, I forget all their names... it's been a LONG time and finally.... Who is your favorite author? Gee, I read lots of books I don't have JUST ONE FAVORITE. OK... I'll do some Zen breathing now.
Here's my theory on this: They could give a rat's ass about anyone over the age of 25! When you're that young, sure you can remember elementary school, especially if you didn't go to college either. So, they're going for the young and the uneducated. What a concept for marketing, sure makes their job easier.
Why can't you make up your own question? Other websites with sensitive information have done that, why can't AT&T?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When Remodeling is Bad

Maybe it's just me, but the past few times I've been to old San Francisco hotels, that I loved for their charm, that have been remodeled in the past few years, I'm always disappointed. Last year it was the venerable St. Francis Hotel on Union Square. The Sheraton bought them out and then remodeled it into a postmodern (or pomo as we wits like to call it) disaster. Don't get me wrong, I like the ultra modern look, but when it's poorly done and without a regard to functionality, it just pisses me off.
OK, OK, I know I get pissed off easily these days without the estrogen load, but sometimes a remodel can be done tastefully with regard to the original style. So we pulled up to the Stanford Court hotel on Nob Hill - scene of many visits when my mom used to come visit me and when my friend Deb used to do PR for the Aspen Music Festival - and the driveway area which is actually part of the 1st floor of the hotel is the same. and the new entry isn't bad, then we walk into the reception area which is sterile and vapid (am I being too subtle here?) No place to sit and wait for folks. Then it opens up into this very badly designed dining room and bar area.
Come to find out Marriott had bought them out. Maybe this is what happens when hotel chains take over old, beautiful hotels - they screw them up. Needless to say we won't be staying there anymore - sigh.
So we check in and go up to our room - which wasn't bad except that you had to look at this horrible carpeting. Me brudder the Atomic Blogger says it's because drunk guests throw up and they want something busy to hide the stains. Maybe he's right, maybe I should have been drunk and I would have appreciated it more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Everything's Better with Byrne

David Byrne has to be one of the most amazing artists in the world - musically, conceptually and visually. He's a Renaissance kind of guy, who as members of the Extra-Action Marching Band (EAMB) of San Francisco tell me, is very down-to-earth sort of person. Well I had the great pleasure not only of seeing Bryne's concert last night in San Francisco but to meet and dance with members of the EAMB!
  • I'm sure that Davies Symphony Hall has not been rocked so heavily in perhaps years or eons. But when Byrne's band took the stage and began playing new songs from his latest album with Brian Eno and then old favorites from his other albums, it was difficult NOT to dance.
Not only did he have two drummers/percussionists along with a keyboard player, other guitarists and amazing back-up singers, but he had three dancers with him! I suspected something was up when I saw what looked like a portable dance floor on the stage along with all the instruments set up before they started.
  • They did a closing number and got called back for an encore, which they did and got the whole joint jumping. The Bryne says, please clear the aisles for the Extra-Action Marching Band, who began to march down the aisles, as Bryne and his band left the stage, then proceeded to take the stage. As you can tell from the photo from their website, EAMB is not your run-of-the-mill marching band. As a matter of fact, don't think they'll be invited to any high school football games at any time in the near future.
Then Bryne and band and dancers come back to the stage for a truly smokin' version of Burning Down the House. The energy was amazing both from the stage and the audience.
  • So, after we leave the concert hall, we go back over to Jardiniere, which is only a 1/2 block away, for a drink after the show. Before the show we had met our niece Brandy over there for dinner. It's an upscale restaurant serving wonderful French-influenced California cusine. We each get a drink of wine and sit down and in marchs..... yup .... the Extra-Action Marching Band who proceeded to take over the bar area. They played and the pom pom kids (2 men and 3 women) did their shimmy-shaking thing. I even got pulled into a dance with them. We chatted one of the trumpet players named Rick (I think, I was on my 2nd glass o'vino) and one of the dancing girls - Ena.
We asked them how they got to play with Bryne and they told us that they descended on him at a book signing in the Bay Area a few years ago. He really enjoyed their shtick and musicianship and asked them to play with him down in LA a while back. Bryne then told them he'd comp them into the show that night, forgetting there were so many of them - 30 at their largest, but it seemed like there weren't that many last night.
  • All in all, a night to remember! Not so memorable was our stay that evening at the Standford Hotel on snob, I mean Nob Hill. More on that in the next post, where we will ask the question why hotels have terrible, gaudy carpeting in the halls!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Good Reason to Go to the Big Apple - Cheap Opera

If you're a fan of contemporary classical music, my advise to you is to get a cheap plane ticket to New York and go see Dr. Atomic, an opera about the development of the atom bomb by John Adams and Peter Sellars.
Even if you're on a budget, you should be able to fork over $30 for a seat that generally costs from $100 to over $220 at the Metropolitan Opera. According to the NY Times, two wealthy opera lovers Agnes Varis, a managing director of the Met’s board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman, have bought $500,000 worth of prime orchestra tickets to the up-coming production, so they can be resold at $30 each.
October 13th is the opening and there are supposed to be 200 of the $30 seats available at the Met box office on the day of the performance for each of its nine performances.
The Sweet Hubby and I saw this back in 2005 - can't believe it's been three years - at the San Francisco Opera. I'm not a fan of the traditional opera, but I do like it when it's contemporary. SF Opera is just finishing up a production of The Bone Setter's Daughter, based on the book of the same name by Amy Tan and she was writing the libretto too. We didn't get to see that and hope it one day makes it to NY and that Agnes and Karl do their good deed again.
It's also smart of them to do this, as it's a way to get younger audiences to opera. They've got to do something as their subscriber base is dying off. So the gold star of the day for promotion of the arts goes to Agnes and Karl!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Another opening, another show

My entry for the members show at the Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center made the postcard! Granted it's the back side, but it was a black & white image - my broken angel taken at Joshua Tree National Park this past spring. If you go back in the posts to April ( I think) you'll find that story.
  • Of all things art, the studio tour was the most disappointing. The only folks who showed up were neighbors and some friends, not anyone else who toured studios in the midtown area. But then again, there wasn't really any PR for it in the local daily paper or the weekly, just a map in the Midtown Monthly. But maybe that's the way it is when you're all of 4 miles out from midtown. Another artist friend who lives south of the midtown area had the same response. I really don't know if I'll do it next year.
But I do have yet another solo show coming up for First Friday out in Woodland. I'll be showing work at my friend George Streng's photo studio. I'm really looking forward to that.
  • The Pasta Benefit at Luna's Cafe was great! We had marvelous food and wine plus a short scene from BPP's next show that opens Oct 17th - Matt & Ben and Nick showed videos that he had made as promos for the past couple of years. Big thanks to Art Luna who walks the walk when it comes to supporting the arts, Claire Guest who made a great salad for us and Cynthia Burdick whose macho meat sauce was very good. Also thanks to the actors and director for the scene and everyone who donated wine or helped sell tickets.
So that's the way it is, good night and good luck.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Getting Hungry??

Mmmmmm.... just thinking about making my mushroom marinara and clam sauces for the Beyond Pasta benefit Wednesday at Luna's Cafe which is located on 16th St., between N & O Streets. This benefits Beyond the Proscenium Productions, which is the theatre company I started back in 1994. Because funding for the arts is so difficult right now and tickets sales only pay for about 30% of our production costs, we have to throw these fundraising soirees so BPP can continue to produce regional and world premieres of contemporary theatre.
What do you get for your $25 donation to this do on Wed at 6 PM? Not only do you get a tax deduction ( for $15, we have to subtract out the value of the food and beverages) but you also get a sneak preview from Matt & Ben, a delicious send-up of Hollywood and Matt Damon and Ben Afflick who were brought into the limelight when their movie, Good Will Hunting made it Why not make "Hump Day" a centerpiece of your week? Please join us and help keep a theatre company that has produced only regional and world premieres of great contemporary theatre producing!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You TOO can be a VIP

Yeah you can, all you need to do is come to the VIP reception for the Center for Contemporary Art's Capitol Artists' Studio Tour. It's tomorrow at 5:30 PM at 1818 L Street, where each artist has a piece on exhibit, cleverly displayed with help from Liv Moe, who will be part of the next show at Asylum Gallery in October.
Lots of good food, wine and chocolate will also be on hand in addition to the art and artists. Ticket prices aren't too bad, and are a special deal if you buy a membership that night... you get the membership and the goodies for only $40.
Now, Ann, you may ask, what does that have to do with the image to the left? I can answer that question - absolutely nothing, other than it's new work that I will be showing at the studio on Sat and Sun from about 11 AM (let's all sleep in) to 7 PM on Sat and 3 PM on Sun. I've also got a couple of other new pieces up at the Flickr site :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann_tracy/
If you want the address and a link to a Google map to the studio, just email me. Cynthia Burdick will also be here with her hand crafted CynStones. She and I will be showing work as well as putting together an installation for Nada Motel next year. Please save the last weekend of June to come up to Reno and visit with us. It will be worth the trip, the installation will feature blow-up sex dolls. You WILL want to see it !
And in yet another item of gratuitous self-promotion, you can buy art from me here http://fineartamerica.com/shop/ann-tracy.html
  • if there is work that you've seen that you'd like to purchase, but it's not up on that site yet, dunna worry, just shot me an email and I'll post it for you. Or if you're in town or nearby, you can pick it up at the studio or I'll even deliver it to you! How's that for service?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mixed Media

Got a couple of things to post today. First of all I forgot to post this photo from the Women Impressionists show in SF. Yes, that woman has a jeweled BUG on her shoulder!
  • The I remembered my sista's pet, Fluffy, which was also a jeweled insect that she got while working in Mexico as a scuba instructor. It's a Mayan thing.
here's another example http://vlaze.com/12547
  • I don't know about you, but there's no way I would want a bug crawing around on me, jewels or no....
and in a 180.... we have the 2-min play I wrote for the unknown theatre company in LA. They were soliciting for a show that they'll do called 23 Dreams about Sarah Palin.

Skippy's Sarah Dream

Setting: any kind of open stage space, or since this is a dream, an unlikely type of set ranging from the interior of a plane to a harem to a set from another show.

Characters:

Woman 1 - any age or race

Woman 2 - any age or race

Moose - guy in moose mask - any age or race

Queen Sarah – any age or race

Woman 1

Did you get your certificate?

WOMAN 2

I'm trying to avoid it. After all ...

(whispers after looking around to make sure no one can see or hear them)

I'm a les....

WOMAN 1

(Loudly)

Oh, look at those great glowing flowers! We'd never know the beauty of nuclear waste if Queen Sarah had not been put on the throne.

WOMAN 2

Lovely flowers and look at the time! We should be getting back to the factory.

Enter a Moose - a guy in a Moose mask

WOMAN 1

Oh My Gawd! I thought those beasts were extinct now.

WOMAN 2

But look he's smiling I think. Maybe they're not as dangerous as they told us.

WOMAN 1

Shut up! You know that we can't contradict Common Thought or we'll end up in the retraining camps.

MOOSE

Can you ladies help me? I need to find some food. Since the Great Sea has risen with the Great Orb of God becoming so hot, I can't find my family's favorite mushrooms anymore. Not to mention the other lovely plants we like to eat. We're vegans you know.

WOMAN 2

I didn't hear you .... La la la la la

(Puts fingers in ears and continues to la la la)

MoOSE

What's wrong with her? Did I say something to offend? I'm truly sorry.

WOMAN 1

Don't you know that it's against the Verbal Laws of the Lord, or Common Thought, to utter the v-word? Wow you have been out in the woods for a long time.

(Loud siren is heard)

Moose begins to run in a large circle quacking like a duck. Both women get down on their knees and prostrate themselves. Moose goes over to them, sniffs them and runs off stage as the siren fades into the sound of a helicopter. As the helicopter fades, Queen Sarah enters in fatigues carrying a large rifle.

Queen Sarah

Get up. Did you see a moose a few minutes ago? I got me a hankering for a moose burger.

Blackout

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Colorado to Coventry

Me Brudder is known in the art world as Atomic Elroy - CONCEPTUAL ART HUMORIST. Elroy is a time based media artist working in video, installation, and performance.
  • Before becoming a "time based media artist", he worked in theatre; acting, directing and writing performance scripts.
His latest gig involves a certain Bruce Uplink, who has finally landed another assignment. Bruce will be the voice of the Talking Birds Daily Coverage via the Telephone Exchange of the A Thing About Machines Fair in Coventry UK, September, 19-21, 2008
It should be pretty damn funny.... so if you're in need of a laugh, go to his blog for details: http://atomicelroy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Impressionistic Women

Just this last weekend, my good friend K., the screenwriter and novelist, came up to Northern California to catch the show of Women Impressionists at the Legion of the Palace of Honor in San Francisco. Being the good friend that I am, I told her that I'd go with her when her other friend that was going to go with her bailed out.
  • So off we went to The City by the Bay early enough so that we could have a lunch of crab and sourdough and of course a glass of wine at Alioto's on Fisherman's Wharf! It was great and then off to the museum for the show. We had to buy tickets in advance for a certain time.
Now, when museums do this, don't they try to space things out so that there isn't a huge crush of people? That's what the person with ordinary intelligence would think. And if it's in such a small corner of the museum, wouldn't they take this into consideration? Well, apparently there are not Rhodes Scholars setting up their exhibit programs/schedules. The place was way toooooo crowded.
  • Now this wouldn't bother some people, except that both K. and I are claustrophobic to strange extremes. I won't get into an elevator when it's full, I'll just wait thank you very much. Same is true of any kind of public transportation. Maybe I was a sardine in another lifetime.
Now the corker on why I'm such a good friend to go through all this - I don't like Impressionist painters whether they are male, female, transvestites or some other gendered person that I don't know about. I have great respect and admiration for the women of that period who were painters - it was tough and out of their "normal" sphere. But I had a revelation while there - it's the color palette that I don't like!
  • Looking at all the pale blues and pinks (especially for Mary Cassatt in this exhibit) just make my teeth ache like eating too much sugar. And then there's the subject matter - babies and children. I suppose if you don't get out of the house much you can only paint what's around. Nobody had thought of abstract art yet, so realism was the only style that they knew. It took the Fauvists to break away from Impressionism and begin the trek to the modern art we know today. I just goggled it and there were no women Fauvists. Had I been a painter in that day, I would have been a Fauvist!
But my friend K. has written both a screenplay and a novel about the woman who first broke from the academy in Paris to legitimate the Impressionists - Berthe Morisot. She's been writing about this woman for years now, so you my gentle reader understand why she had to see this show. She's got agents trying to market both for her right now and keep your fingers crossed that she sees some action later this fall - she deserves it.
  • And that my friends is our art history lesson for today!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sacto to San Diego

September is shaping up to be a busy month as I ready the studio for the CAST - Center for Contemporary Art's Studio Tour September 27th and 28th. I just delivered a new work - Broken Angel, Mono Lake - to 1818 L Street this afternoon. This is where there will be an artist's reception on 2nd Saturday. Very nice to drum up interest in the tour, which is free this year, thanks to the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission! This is another of my presentation experiments. I took the digital print, coated it with print guard (for archival ink purposes) then collaged it to a small canvas and then painted around it and the canvas edges.
  • The folks at Center for Contemporary Art have also done their voodoo to score a show at the SMUD gallery on 65th Street for the artists. This is just perfect for the partcipating artists - two pre-shows before the event itself. Of course I'll show a print from the Power series there. Today I was told that over 80 artists are participating this year.
And then there's the San Diego area show that I'm in the beginning of October at the Bonita Museum. Joe Nalven did a great job writing up an article about the show which is post at the Digital Art Guild website: http://www.digitalartguild.com/content/view/49/26/

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Is it Art?

There has been some recent “conversations” on the Digital Art Guild Yahoo email group lately about certain types of filters used in digital art. One of the fine artists there – Dolores Kaufman – had set up a challenge on her website with several images and then her final finished art piece made from those images. The challenge was to copy what she had created. This was all in response to someone who said something to the effect that using filters in Photoshop wasn’t art. I agree with that statement, but it’s HOW you use the filters and what you do to an image to create something new from it that makes it art.

  • If you go to her website: http://www.dgkaufman.com/, then click on take challenge two on the bottom left, you’ll see the “seed” images. Then click on the results and be amazed at how two photographs can be transformed into that many different images!

Then another wonderful digital artist, Ansgard Thomson contacted me off group to show me her little experiment using the paint daub filters in Photoshop on a recent photo she took, then she painted over the image in a program called Art Rage. It’s supposed to be like Painter, only much less expensive.

But painting the photo took a very long time, as compared to using an “art” filter in Photoshop. Can you see the difference?

Go check out Ansgard’s work at: http://www.members.shaw.ca/ansgard. She’s a feisty woman who is still making art in her 80s! I hope to be like her when I get to that age!!!

  • In my mind it all boils down to Duchamp and Dada. An artist makes art with whatever materials she has at her disposal. Digital tools are just that, tools that in the hands of artists become art. So there!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hello San Diego

Just a few days ago, I got an email from the Digital Artists' Guild in San Diego that my work was accepted into their Urban Legends and County Tales show! I was really thrilled because I had worked myself up to create a new piece for the show because I didn't think any of the other pieces that I had made over the past few years really spoke to the theme. Plus the fact that on the application you had to write a little tale as to how your image spoke to the theme.
  • The opening and public reception for Urban Legends and Country Tales will be 6 to 8:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 4th. Admission is free to the Bonita Museum, 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita CA 91902. Hours are 10:00am - 4:00pm - Wednesday through Saturday. For museum information, contact Vicky DeLong, Museum Director, 619-267-5141.
This is the art I created for the show, it's called Utter Fear and is based on a PR photo from my production of The Al Hamlet Summit which Beyond the Proscenium produced two years ago.

Monday, August 25, 2008

It's a Pop World After All

Was just reading me Brudder's blog about Warhol and Pop culture when he referenced this too short interview with Laurie Anderson, one of my personal art heroes. Here's her interview with Smithsonian: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/atm-qa-anderson.html?c=y&page=1
  • What's ironic is that just a week ago I was at the Crocker Museum's reception for their American Pop show which featured many Warhols and some other more interesting (IMHO) art.
I'm not sure why Warhol won. How did this happen? Why are the majority of people obsessed with fleeting fame making fools of themselves on crappy TV shows? Why are people more likely to choose an "entertainment" that doesn't make them think? What the hell is wrong with thinking? It's not that hard. Personally, I don't like easy "entertainments", I want to be challenged when it comes to theatre, dance, music and art.
  • But I keep forgetting I'm not the norm. I didn't have kids the way I was "supposed to"; I did radio when it took NOW filing injunctions with the FCC about the lack of women on the air in Denver CO; I don't like vanilla ice cream, mayo, or other bland foodstuffs; I've never seen an "Ah-nuld" movie and I like French films better than Hollywood.
I wonder if Laurie Anderson likes vanilla ice cream? She'll be playing at Mondavi center in Davis on Oct 22nd - just got my tickets and am looking forward to seeing her new show.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Walking the Talk

For years now the Sweet Hubby and I have been considering going solar. We've always been big supporters of environmental issues and both drive hybrid cars. A couple of months ago his sister and her hubby used a firm called Akeena Solar to put solar on their house in Lakeport. They had a great experience so we called them finally too. We figured out we had enough money in our home equity line of credit to do this and finish the master bathroom - we've been remodeling our house for the nine years we've lived in it. We figured it would definitely increase the saleability when we move away from Sacto.
They came out and gave us the spiel and what really sold us was that they would deal with all the paperwork including permits, getting the city to sign off on it as well as SMUD - Sacramento Metro Utility District, which was offering a $6,000 rebate for going solar. After looking at the plans, SMUD told them that they would have to build a frame and tilt the panels 20 degrees south, which they did for NO additional money!
It took about a couple months from our first meeting with their rep and having the Sweet Hubby pull the switch, but we're on line now! We won't be able to completely get off the grid, because they had to put the panels on the roof of the garage (filled with art, theatre and burning man stuff, not cars) and mother-in-law unit that's been Sweet Hubby's office (we will be switching work spaces at month's end so I can have that space since he's been in it for 6 years now). Our house would need to be re-roofed and it's the wrong orientation for solar with SMUD's blessing.
But if we can produce half the electricity we need from Old Sol, then we're reducing our carbon footprint by a large amount and we'll pay less on our utility bill. When we sell the house, we will be able to pass along the savings as the panels are guaranteed for 25 years.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Who's Your Daddy?

The "daddy" of Webism, Dr. Rodney Chang, or Pygoya as he's know to his Webist artist friends is quite an interesting guy. Not only is he a wonderful artist and has the claim to fame of having the 1st Web Digital Art Museum, but he's a marathon runner!!
  • Ingrid Kamerbeek, the artist who keeps track of all the Webist doings all over the world sent us this link to his run. I thought the photos were great and he had some interesting ideas about marathon and half-marathon races.
http://www.marathoncoursephotos.com/SanFrancisco08/index.htm If this wasn't enough, he's also opened his own art gallery in his home town of Honolulu! You can check out the photos of his opening reception here http://www.lastplace.com/PygoyaGallery/index.htm

Sunday, August 10, 2008

You say it's your birthday

Yup it was yesterday and I had to work - boo hoo. Of course it could be worse, I could be stuck inside Afghanistan which is not a pretty place right now for anyone of the female species. More on that latter.
  • I was working on a power point presentation that I will give tomorrow to the Sacramento Bee's feature reporters about creativity. I hadn't used power point in years, but I remembered that it was fairly easy to use, which it was. Last time I used it was for a set for The Waiting Room, a play Maggie Upton directed for Beyond the Proscenium back in 2000 I think. Seems odd to think that it's been 8 years - yikes - time she's a flying.
I don't know how or if I'm going to put the presentation on line. But I would like to share with you a very inspiring quote that's applicable to all the arts. Allegedly Martha Graham, the doyenne of modern dance told this to Agnes DeMille (yes, Cecile's niece) who was primarily a musical choreographer whose most famous ballet is Rodeo set to the music of Aaron Copeland .
  • "There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist in through any other medium and (will) be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
I also just updated the Flickr site with a couple of pieces of new art - check it out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not my fault....

  • When I sent off the piece about Nada Motel I included about 8 photos that I took of other artists' work and one of my own. I was hoping that the editor would pick 2 or 3 photos of other people's work. But alas, he picked my piece. But probably only because it was created to "fit" the theme of the show. My humble apologies to the other artists if they happen to run across this:
http://www.artdaily.org/index.asp?int_sec=2&int_new=25437
  • I'm jazzed to be in the same E-paper along with the Getty and the Met. Although I'm not holding my breath for them to call me.

G'day to Aussie Artists

  • My little article that was published on Art Daily has been posted to another artist blog from Australia!?
http://tiny.cc/ajADD
  • Good idea for a co-op to do and you've got to love their name: BAD Co-Op. I hope that they'll keep in touch and let us know how their Nada Motel event went!
Had to use another tiny url.... sorry that you have to keep copying and pasting. One day maybe I'll learn how to make active urls....... that you can click on. After looking at my calendar, that will be sometime in 2009 ;~D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Nada Rats

I just tried using the tiny url and it doesn't take you to the article. Let's try this one http://tiny.cc/dvCJH

Nada Yada Yada

Finally finished the article for Art Daily, an on-line internet newspaper, about Nada Motel. Unfortunately they didn't use any of the photos I sent them. Here's the link:
  • http://tiny.cc/2bjc2

Monday, August 4, 2008

Finally the Wurd on Nada Motel

I can't believe it took me a month to get this stuff up here. But as you can tell, I've been busy with other projects and then there's our petting zoo (3 cats and Crash the dog) and my sweet Hubby and trying to have a life with him from time to time. But there I go babbling again, maybe I should have named this the Babbling Blog!
  • First of all a BIG thank you to all the artists and other folks who stopped by to look at my work and the work of Cherie Hacker and the jewelry of Cynthia Burdick. And to all the listeners of Capital Public Radio who heard the interview that Chad Sorg and I did with the manager of the Cortez Hotel and Insight Host Jeffery Callison. And an extra big thank you to the people who bought work.
The only thing I'm bummed about is that the photos I took of Chad Sorg's wonderful big mixed media paintings didn't turn out. His work was really great. Most everyone had wonderful stuff up there and following pieces are work that I really liked for one reason or another. One of the best installations was called the Barn by Ned Peterson and Kai Prescher. "In the Barn, the horses watch the cows, the cows watch the pigs, the pigs watch the chickens, the chickens watch the ducks and the ducks watch cartoons 'cause they're funny that way." Patty Melton showed colorful renderings of historic Reno motels like the following. Apparently her parents owned the Town House Motel back in the 1960s and she swam with Lyndon Johnson back then when it was a hoity-toity place Paula Povilaitos showed rubbings she had done of water and sewer caps and the like. Jerry Tarner brought along his sculpture and did a great job decorating his room, using auto upholstery fabric!?! Jerry tells me it's very cool stuff and it's cheaper than your regular fabric store which I'll keep in mind for next year when I think that Cynthia and I will do some kind of installation. Spent some good time talking wtih fellow digital artist-photographer Dean Burton who was showing his new series - The Architechure of Electronica. Great stuff as you can see from the one photo. He teaches up in Reno and those kids are lucky to have a teacher like him. Then Cindy Gun had a great little sculptural installation called Mockery of a Mosque. This is a detail from it. It was great. So a big thanks to all the great artists I met in Reno and thanks again for letting me Nada with you!